How to Photograph Couples: A Detailed Tutorial

I am a professional wedding, portrait, and fashion photographer, and have almost three decades of experience photographing couples. I created this video to provide lighting, posing and location tips and tricks in a few different scenarios to give photographers some inspiration on how to photograph couples.

Photographing couples comes with a host of challenges to navigate, including different body types, shapes, personalities, and confidence levels. My purpose is to simplify this intimidating process to be able to bring out the best in any couple, anywhere.

Identifying the best light, finessing poses, and bringing out the best in a couple will enable individuals to take their photography to the next level. A mistake commonly made by photographers is to simply choose a location based on what appears to be the best or most scenic. However, for those first starting out, I recommend selecting a backdrop where the lighting is predictable.

Upon mastering that, it is then a good time to venture out and explore more challenging locations. Understanding concepts like how to photograph in sunlight or backlight and how to shoot with a reflector will enable beginners to confidently photograph in any location by using whatever lighting situation are you faced with.

After looking for good light, then finding a location in that light, the next step is to photograph your subjects. When approaching any couple, I tend to think of their bodies almost like two pieces of a puzzle fitting together and I like to use the way they typically interact as a great starting point for the session.

One trick to help with posing inspiration is to liken the couple to your own relationship and draw in from interactions with your own partner. To capture a couple’s natural, organic expressions, it’s important to find the right balance of giving your subjects room to breathe, while also having fun and engaging with them. All in all, when approaching couple photography, repetition, experience, and practice will be your best teacher.

About the author: Widely regarded as one of the top five wedding photographers in the world, Jerry Ghionis’ theatrical and iconic images have redefined modern wedding photography. In 2013, he was named as a United States Nikon Ambassador. And he was the first Australian named in the first-ever list of Top Ten Wedding Photographers in the World by American Photo magazine. Jerry was also named as the Australian Wedding Photographer of the Year by the AIPP. Jerry is also proud to have won the WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) Wedding Album of the Year for a record eight times among his long list of accolades and WPPI included Jerry in their Top Five Wedding Photographers in the World. In 2011, Jerry was also named by PDN magazine as one of the top photography workshop instructors in the world. To learn more from Jerry, visit his website here.